Innovative solutions for the last mile in healthcare logistics

Published on in Healthcare, Last Mile, Logistics of the future, Pharmacy, Point-of-Sale, Retail
Article contains videos

How can pharmacies reach their customers even better? New challenges for pharma  logistics on the last mile – from local round-the-clock availability to individually dispensed medicines – demand new system solutions to meet end customers’ needs.

Read on and watch our video about pharmacy solutions to learn about applications of our market-specific last mile solutions for healthcare logistics.

Healthcare logistics solution using hub and spoke systems: Handling single items efficiently

Centralized dispensing offers a way to provide patients with healthcare products and prescription medicines quickly and simply. In centralized dispensing, medicines are distributed via distribution centers or hub and spoke systems. Prescriptions arrive from doctors or pharmacies in electronic form and are filled for each patient individually. The order can then be sent either directly to the patient or to the pharmacy. Our smart system solution for centralized dispensing is Pack2Patient. Pack2Patient fills patient orders automatically, securely and with high efficiency. It also guarantees end-to-end traceability of medicines.

Highlights Pack2Patient

  • Fast order processing
  • Top delivery quality
  • End-to-end traceability

For Phoenix Healthcare Distribution, our Pack2Patient solution guarantees efficient and safe filling of repeat prescriptions for patients at their location in Runcorn, England. Phoenix uses the hub and spoke solution to fill repeat prescriptions, processing an average of 1.7 million items a month for pharmacies in England, Scotland and Wales. The facility in Runcorn is one of the largest automated pharmacies in the UK. Read our press release published in January 2022.

Pharma logistics at Phoenix: An employee standing in front of a monitor removes packages of medicine from a container.
Phoenix Runcorn uses the system solution Pack2Patient to efficiently and safely prepare repeat prescriptions for patients.

Centralized automated order fulfillment is vastly more efficient than pharmacy-level assembly, and through centralizing repeat prescription assembly we are able to free up time for pharmacy colleagues to provide the support, advice and healthcare services that patients need from their local community pharmacies.

Paul Wilkinson
Phoenix Healthcare Distribution

Pharmacy services for the US market: Accurate down to the tablet

The US market has high demands for pharmacy fulfillment. Unlike in many other markets, each prescription is custom-filled into a plastic vial labeled with the patient’s name and sent directly to the pharmacy (central fill) or end customer (mail order).

But that’s no problem for our pros: Together, our Automated Tablet Dispenser (ATD) and the KNAPP Medication Dispenser (KMeD) form our system solution Mail Order Central Fill (MOCF). Our reliable automation solution for pharma logistics takes care of the entire prescription. Each vial for each patient is automatically labeled, filled, packaged and mailed either to the pharmacy or directly to the patient’s home.

Healthcare Solutions: Automatically filling tablets into vials.
Each patient receives their prescription filled in custom prescription vials.

Process reliability and quality are top priority. The reliable replenishment process is transparent and allows end-to-end traceability. The failsafe tablet separation process can be calibrated as needed and ensures that medications are accurately dispensed into the vials. The system also detects broken pills and capsules. Additionally, all materials that come into contact with medication have been certified by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

Highlights MOCF

  • Fully automatic picking of individual tablets
  • Scalable, space-saving system, few resources required
  • Flexible and scalable solution with a short pay-off time

Long-term last mile support with personalized blister packs

Preparing and organizing medicines can be a big challenge for patients and their caregivers. It’s a major responsibility where accuracy is key. Some patients have difficulty pressing the small, individually packaged tablets out of the blister pack and then re-sorting them. Pharmacies can help ensure patients take their medication correctly by managing and preparing medication, which includes preparing blister pack pill organizers for patients who need them. However, this is time-consuming and must be done by trained personnel.

Our automated solution, the Daily Dose Dispenser system for smart pharma logistics, supports pharmacy staff in this task. The system organizes all the patient’s medicine into one blister pack, with each dose packaged separately. Our Daily Dose Dispenser creates added value both for patients and their families and for blister centers and pharmacies. The fully automatic dispenser is the world’s first system that is able to create patient-specific, multi-dose blister packs directly from original blister packs. As an all-in-one solution, the system not only includes the automation of all blistering processes that are mainly carried out manually but also includes the required software and customer services.

Highlights of the Daily Dose Dispenser

  • Secure, fully automatic medicine storage
  • 24/7 service hotline and access to technicians
  • Central software for optimum data security and transparency
  • Pre-dosed and pre-organized medications for optimum compliance at home
  • From original blister pack to individualized blister pack

Top-tier service at the pharmacy: Automatic medicine handling and 24/7 terminal

Demands being placed on new pharma logistics solutions in the pharmacy itself have also grown more complex. Pharmacy owners are being confronted with an increased need for higher storage and throughput capacities, while still having a limited amount of space to work with. More and more patients want to be able to pick up medicines around the clock, unrestricted by pharmacy opening hours.

Our integrated Apostore solutions meet this demand. Apostore provides the perfect solution for each pharmacy’s needs and is customizable to meet current demands. Additional 24/7 terminals and information screens inside the pharmacy allow us to offer customers an optimal experience.

24/7 pharmacy service at point of sale with a self-service pharmacy vending machine
The automated dispenser offers after-hours medicine pickup and virtual consultation.

The automated solution makes life easier for employees at Lind-Apotheke in Villach.

Pharma Logistics: Apostore stores medicine for the Lind-Apotheke pharmacy.
Apostore stores medicine for the Lind-Apotheke pharmacy.
Pharmacy service at point of sale
Lind-Apotheke: The Apostore robot does all the heavy lifting, which means more time for customers.

Apostore performs many labor-intensive tasks that we used to have to do manually, such as checking date marks and stocking medicines in drawer cabinets. The dispenser automatically optimizes our warehouse, freeing up time we can devote to our customers.

Sophia Telesko
Owner of Lind-Apotheke

Highlights Apostore 

  • Significantly greater storage capacity in the same space
  • Quick and intelligent options for storage
  • More time for customer consultation
  • Terminal: Available 24/7

One special solution in our Apostore automated picking machine family is the Apostore Twin. It is used for cost-intensive, individualized prescriptions, such as chemotherapy drugs. What makes the Apostore Twin special is that it has two different temperature ranges: cold and ambient, separated in the middle by a barrier.

Contact us

Are you curious about our pharmacy solutions or do you have any questions? We’re looking forward to hearing from you at blog@knapp.com

Article contains videos
Astrid Wolfram
Communications
Healthcare & Wholesale Solutions
Astrid handles a variety of topics in our blog to do with healthcare and wholesale. Her stories and interviews provide an inspiring view into the world of intelligent logistics solutions.

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